Found among moss leaves - algae?

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mrsonchus
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Found among moss leaves - algae?

#1 Post by mrsonchus » Mon Sep 05, 2016 10:14 pm

Hi all,
I've been examining some moss today (another major interest of mine) under the stereo 'scope and have found some curious liquid-filled and transparent 'spheres' that seen to each contain many hundreds of chains of what look like algal-cells. The entire 'sphere' - reminds me of some type of cyst almost, is tiny (i.e. about 50µ at a guess in diameter) and filled with even tinier chains of these green algal-looking cells....

I wondered if anyone may be able to shed a little light upon their nature and even identity - especially as two 'spheres' seem to be joining - or one 'sphere' is in some way 'budding' into two, both of which, together with the 'neck' that joins them are filled with the even tinier 'chains' - here are some pictures, see what you think....

Here's a single one,
Image

and the pair referred to above,
Image

and the 'neck' or constriction/restriction that appears to join them,
Image

inside we have these chain-like structures,
Image

Image

and,
Image

Anyone have any thoughts? :D
John B

JimT
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Re: Found among moss leaves - algae?

#2 Post by JimT » Mon Sep 05, 2016 10:58 pm

John, what magnification were the last few images? Looks a lot like Caynobacteria, a type of blue green algae.

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c-krebs
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Re: Found among moss leaves - algae?

#3 Post by c-krebs » Mon Sep 05, 2016 11:13 pm

JimT has it. Cyanobacteria (blue-green algae).

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mrsonchus
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Re: Found among moss leaves - algae?

#4 Post by mrsonchus » Mon Sep 05, 2016 11:20 pm

JimT wrote:John, what magnification were the last few images? Looks a lot like Caynobacteria, a type of blue green algae.
Hi Jim, I think they are x60 (I mounted them quickly in DI water with coversip and a gentle flattening) - the last one's cropped of course - sorry they're not very good quality - it was a very spontaneous and rushed-job.... :oops: They really are tiny - I should have measured them using the Toupcam but I was in the middle of a moss ID when I discovered these little beauties in their shiny liquid spheres..

Interesting thing these. :)

Thanks for the lead Jim - I'll have a read of the tomes about these when I get the chance. :)

They'd make a nice permanent and easily-made mount I think.

Couldn't resist a gratuitous 'enhancement'...... :oops:
Image

Thanks for the help chaps. :D :)
John B

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zzffnn
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Re: Found among moss leaves - algae?

#5 Post by zzffnn » Tue Sep 06, 2016 12:02 am

Very interesting. I am interested to see permanent mount at highest possible magnification and NA. In live water mount, they don't image too well unless squeezed really flat.
Selling my Canon FD 200mm F/2.8 lens

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gekko
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Re: Found among moss leaves - algae?

#6 Post by gekko » Tue Sep 06, 2016 12:16 am

I think Nostoc.
See for example https://www.britannica.com/science/Nostoc (which also gives a Liverwort connection).

apochronaut
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Re: Found among moss leaves - algae?

#7 Post by apochronaut » Tue Sep 06, 2016 6:05 pm

Yes, I think they are a Nostoc colony. They form a kind of capsule around the colony. They are easy to grow, release oxygen into the atmosphere as they undergo photosynthesis and the methanolic extracts from certain species, show promise as a natural fungicide and possibly insecticide for agricultural use.

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rabitt
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Re: Found among moss leaves - algae?

#8 Post by rabitt » Tue Sep 06, 2016 6:16 pm

Excellent photos, Really interesting.

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billben74
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Re: Found among moss leaves - algae?

#9 Post by billben74 » Tue Sep 06, 2016 7:45 pm

Yeah, second that. Fascinating little journey/story, with great illustrations.

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mrsonchus
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Re: Found among moss leaves - algae?

#10 Post by mrsonchus » Tue Sep 06, 2016 7:56 pm

zzffnn wrote:Very interesting. I am interested to see permanent mount at highest possible magnification and NA. In live water mount, they don't image too well unless squeezed really flat.
Hmm, you know Fan, that should be easy enough to do my friend - leave it with me .... :)
John B

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mrsonchus
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Re: Found among moss leaves - algae?

#11 Post by mrsonchus » Tue Sep 06, 2016 7:58 pm

gekko wrote:I think Nostoc.
See for example https://www.britannica.com/science/Nostoc (which also gives a Liverwort connection).
Hmm, sounds like them - yes I suppose it's no surprise either that they 'occupy' other plants that are in an environment that they find suitable, such as Liverworts, Mosses etc - very interesting little development! :)
John B

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mrsonchus
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Re: Found among moss leaves - algae?

#12 Post by mrsonchus » Tue Sep 06, 2016 8:00 pm

apochronaut wrote:Yes, I think they are a Nostoc colony. They form a kind of capsule around the colony. They are easy to grow, release oxygen into the atmosphere as they undergo photosynthesis and the methanolic extracts from certain species, show promise as a natural fungicide and possibly insecticide for agricultural use.
Hmm, they become more interesting the more I discover - thanks for the lead. :)
John B

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mrsonchus
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Re: Found among moss leaves - algae?

#13 Post by mrsonchus » Tue Sep 06, 2016 8:01 pm

rabitt wrote:Excellent photos, Really interesting.
Thanks rabbit - they are very photogenic for sure - such rich colour, and the camera had no trouble imaging them thank goodness. :)
John B

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mrsonchus
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Re: Found among moss leaves - algae?

#14 Post by mrsonchus » Tue Sep 06, 2016 8:06 pm

billben74 wrote:Yeah, second that. Fascinating little journey/story, with great illustrations.
Thanks Bill, yes it's amazing what 'little treats' repeatedly appear when probing-around the tiny World! The sheer variety, beauty and complexity - not to mention the apparent logical form of my specimens - I know I always quote the form/function idea but I notice it every single time I gaze upon a tiny mystery such as these!

Amazing how delving into the truly tiny with a 'scope can broaden one's horizons so vastly! :)

Great fun and so very intriguing always. :D :D :)
John B

billbillt
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Re: Found among moss leaves - algae?

#15 Post by billbillt » Tue Sep 06, 2016 9:07 pm

I found these fascinating and very well done!....

BillT

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